One of the nicest people in baseball is Rex Barney, former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher, who is now the voice of the Orioles at Camden Yards. He's so nice that it's hard to believe they can find so many people willing to roast him on Feb. 5 at Martin's West.
Barney will face a first-string lineup of celebrity roasters to raise money for the Amputee Association of Maryland. People like Orioles owner and honorary chair Peter Angelos, Roastmaster Chuck Thompson, Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Ernie Accorsi, Vince Bagli, Stan Charles, Tom Davis, Mike Flanagan, Scott Garceau, Tom Matte, Jon Miller, Johnny Oates, Frank Sliwka, Artie Donovan, Ted Venetoulis and a few surprises, are expected to join Rex that evening.
Tickets are $50 each and may be reserved by calling Donna Zaccagnini at (410) 583-8934.
Natural Classics Goumet is out and Gordon-Pope Limited is in, at 334 N. Charles St. Kemp Byrnes has teamed up with Curtis Pope, formerly of Lord Ashley's at the Inn at Perry's Cabin in St. Michael's, to transform a downtown deli into a cafe.
One could say that Byrnes is returning to his roots -- his great grandfather, Thomas W. Gordon, owned two very popular Baltimore restaurants at the turn of the century -- the Rose House and A Hole in the Wall. Paula Ehrmann, the attractive wife of former Colts player Joe, who runs an inner-city ministry; attorney Michael Marr; and Esther McKean from BB&Y Advertising and Public Relations agency, were among those invited to a soft opening last week.
Thanks to Peter Eddy and Priscilla Calvert of the GBMC Foundation for taking me on a most impressive tour last week of Greater Baltimore Medical Center's new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Cancer Center. While at the NICU opening, I met people who had made generous donations to the hospital. Among them were members of the Kiwanis Club Loch Raven, who donated $15,000 for one of the parent rooms, and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Dulaney. He owns Advance Care Ambulance Service, a major sponsor for GBMC's Father's Day 5K race last year.
That race raised more than $50,000 for the NICU. But little did Dulaney know when he agreed to sponsor the race, that his grandson, J. T., would weigh only 1.3 pounds and have to be in NICU. He's been there since birth, but will be going home soon, now that he's reached 5 pounds. He was 4 months old yesterday. I'd like to add my congratulations to GBMC, which was selected as one of the 100 Top U.S. Hospitals -- Benchmarks for Success. The hospitals were chosen after research by Health Care Information Agency Inc., and the Health Care Provider Consulting Practice of Mercer, an international consulting firm.
Around town: Check your television guide to see what time "Star Search" can be seen on your cable station this weekend. A popular Baltimore-Washington band, the Jamie LaRitz Band, will perform a rock ballad. Band members include Jamie, who sings and plays guitar; Scott Lean, lead singer; Steve Carodiskey plays bass; and Eric DiNenna plays drums.
Also, did you see KYF Brewer as Officer Jerry Ryan on the television series "Homicide" last night? Brewer, who was formerly with the rock band The Ravyns and Company of Wolves, is pursuing an acting career and working on a solo album project.
In the midst of this awful weather, it was nice to see a press release that reminded me of spring. On Feb. 26, the BSO Decorators' Showhouse Empty House Tour will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at a cost of $3 at the door. This year's show house is the mysterious Callis-Kennedy stone house at 4300 St. Paul St. I say mysterious, because the house was abandoned for more than two decades, until it was recently bought by Thomas F. Behrle Jr. and his wife, Colleen M. Barrett.
This tour gives you a chance to see the house before the 30 decorators and landscape designers begin their work. The finished show house will be open for tours from April 24 to May 22.